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News from COPFS

A further 150 reasons not to drink and drive

More than 150 drink drivers in Scotland had their motor vehicles seized then sold or scrapped between April 2013 and March 2014.

An average of three vehicles a week were forfeited by repeat drink and drug driving offenders; first offenders driving or attempting to drive with a high alcohol reading; and those who refused to give a sample of breath to the police without a reasonable excuse.

Domestic abuse charges reported in 2013-14

COPFS figures published today show a notable increase in the number of domestic abuse charges reported in 2013-14 by Police Scotland and a corresponding rise in the number of charges marked for court proceedings. The data was extracted in June 2014, and reflects the position at that date.

Life sentence for first ‘Cold Case’ murder conviction in Scotland

John Docherty was indicted in January this year for the 1986 murder of sixteen year-old Elaine Doyle. This was the first indictment to be served for an unresolved homicide following an investigation led by the Crown Office Cold Case Unit (CCU). Today at Glasgow High Court Docherty was sentenced to life imprisonment. The Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC said the sentence ends a long search for justice for the Doyle family.

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Criminals will not be the winners in the 2014 Commonwealth Games

Scottish prosecutors will use the full range of their powers to protect the interests of legitimate businesses and their hard working staff in the run up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games by cracking down on fraudsters.

Any major sporting event can be a target for organised criminals looking to profit, whether it is from ticket touting, selling counterfeit goods or property scams.

The Lord Advocate has issued a strong deterrent message to fraudsters warning they could face sentences of up to five years in jail and an unlimited fine or be prosecuted using proceeds of crime legislation and the loss of their homes, cars or other assets linked to crime.

Retained organs

The Lord Advocate has the sole authority in Scotland to investigate any death which requires further explanation.

When a person dies in Scotland, they cannot be buried or cremated until a medical certificate giving the cause of death has been issued. This certificate must be completed by a doctor, and must show the time, place and cause of death. Most deaths which are reported to the Procurator Fiscal are reported because a doctor is unable to confirm the cause of the death and is therefore unable to issue a death certificate.

Solicitor General welcomes Equally Safe strategy

This new strategy, developed by the Scottish Government, COSLA and a range of partners sets out plans to eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls, aiming to create a society where all can feel equally safe and respected.

Parliament House – The Hidden Gem

The five-year redevelopment project of Scotland's historic Parliament Hall, Edinburgh was commemorated on 23 June with the unveiling of a plaque by the Lord President, the Rt. Hon. Lord Gill, Chairman of the Scottish Court Service.

Attending the ceremony was the Lord Advocate, the Rt. Hon Frank Mulholland QC who said he had a long and happy association with the building and had been privileged to have appeared there on many occasions.

McLaren High School wins schools debate on freedom of dress

The final of the 2014 East of Scotland Schools Public Speaking Competition took place on 18 June at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Chambers Street, following local heats across the region.

The competition hopes to encourage young people from across Scotland to hone their speaking skills, while at the same time encouraging them to consider real issues that could affect them or those around them. 

Drivers urged to consider the consequences of drink driving this summer

Motorists in Scotland are being reminded of the tough legal and personal consequences of drink driving with the launch of the COPFS / Police Scotland 2014 Summer Drink Drive campaign.

The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, the senior Law Officer in Scotland warned that those caught “Will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law” and not only risk losing their licence, liberty and car but their life and the life of others.

Should you suspect someone of drink driving, please call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it to your local police office by dialing 101. In an emergency, you can also dial 999.

Scottish students film to save young lives from knife crime tragedy praised by the Lord Advocate

A knife crime awareness film created by students from Inverclyde Academy, Greenock to warn their peers of the tragic impact knife crime can have has been praised by the Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC at the film’s launch in Glasgow who said that what they were doing with their innovative and ground breaking DVD is ultimately saving lives.

‘Crime of Love’ created as an educational tool in partnership with Inverclyde Academy, COPFS and BBC Scotland is available to view on the BBC Scotland LAB website: www.bbc.co.uk/labscotland